Best Fall Family Getaways In DC

November 2, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

autumnfamily Best Fall Family Getaways In DC

(credit: Thinkstock)

Fall is a wonderful time of year for a family getaways around Washington, D.C. The foliage this time of year is beautiful, and the fall family fun abounds. Don’t miss out on the best fall family getaways in D.C. this year.

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway  
Mount Vernon, VA 2230
(703) 780-2000

Price: $15 adults 12 to 61/$7 youth 7 to 11/$14 seniors 62 and older/free children age 4 and younger

America’s first president George Washington and his wife lived at this 500-acre estate located along the Potomac River roughly 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. Visitors may explore the 14-room mansion, the outbuildings (including the slave quarters, smokehouse, kitchen, coach house and stables), the gardens and the museum to learn about the life of George Washington and his family. George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill have been reconstructed and are fully functional. Children may explore Mount Vernon in Miniature, which is a replica of the mansion that includes exciting features including windows that actually open, turning door knobs and candles that illuminate.

U.S. National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave., NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 245-2726

Price: free

The arboretum is one of the largest in the country, with 446 acres of plants, trees and shrubs. One of the major attractions is the bonsai collection in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Visitors may enjoy a variety of exhibits, including landscaped gardens, the slow-growing conifer collection and the Gotelli dwarf, and children may enjoy feeding the colorful koi fish that live in the pool. This is an ideal location to see the changing of the colors in the fall and explore the aquatic plants, seasonal exhibits and the National Herb Garden.

Colonial Williamsburg
101 Visitor Center Drive
Williamsburg, VA 2318
(757) 220-7645

Price: $47.95 adults/$24.95 youth 6 to 12/free children younger than 6

The Revolutionary City is at its most picturesque in the fall as the leaves begin to change and the temperatures cool. Enjoy entertainment including fireworks displays, theatrical programs and interpretive characters. There is also a premium outlet nearby for those who enjoy shopping. A fun getaway for all ages, Colonial Williamsburg offers tours, children’s programs and theater shows.

Related: D.C. Restaurants

Thanksgiving Parade
Ellsworth Drive and Veteran’s Place
Silver Spring, MD
(240) 777-5307

Price: free
Hours: Nov. 17 – 9:30 a.m. to noon

The parade will include 50-foot balloons, plenty of floats, The Greater Overbrook String Band from Philadelphia, local high school marching bands, costumed characters, classic cars, clowns and mounted police. The parade will serve as the kick-off for the holiday season and the final float will be Santa’s sleigh along with his reindeer and elves throwing candy canes to the crowd. The Washington Redskins Marching Band will also take part in the activities. The parade is scheduled to take place rain or shine.

Sugarloaf Craft Festival
16 Chestnut St.
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(301) 990-1400

Price: $10 at the door/$8 online/free children younger than 12
Hours: Nov. 16 to 18 Fri and Sat –  10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sugarloaf Craft Festival will be held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds and features several interactive demonstrations with craft masters such as wheel-thrown pottery, wood turning and metal spinning. There will be more than 400 artisans on site who will have jewelry, sculpture, furniture, pottery, glass and fashion on display. Children’s entertainment will include the “Middle Earth Studio” that offers storytelling and a marionette show with a dragon. Musical entertainment includes guitarist Ed Wright, pianist Ngu Mbandi, guitarist Don Thomas and musical performances by Stan and LeeAnne.

Related: Hotels on a Budget in D.C.

Sarah Hearn is a freelance writer covering all things DC. Her work can be found on

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